Food & Drink Magazine

Just In Time For Happy Hour!

By Yonni @vegandthecity
Just In Time For Happy Hour!Last night I was in the mood for something warm and hearty, yet low in fat and high in protein.  Kind of a tall order...
I had eaten an all vegetable salad for lunch and had just a small juice for breakfast, so I knew I had to get some protein into my system.  As I've mentioned before, I am a big fan of Mexican food.  An added bonus is that it's typically inexpensive (unless you partner your meal with a margarita or sangria ~ or two) but rather than go out, I wanted something I could make at home.  I found a can of organic pinto beans in my pantry, a yellow onion and Smart Bacon, a decent vegan alternative to the real thing (though if you ever had bacon, you would never confuse the two.)
So what did I do?  I got to work made my own refried beans!  I couldn't find a recipe I liked online, many of which had pork which clearly wasn't working for a vegan, so I created this recipe.  It was cheap, quick and tasted great.
You will need:1 15 oz. can organic pinto beans, drained1/2 tsp cumin1 tsp crushed roasted garlic3/4 yellow onion, dicedPam cooking spray (or something similar)3-4 slices of Smart BaconSalt to taste
1.  Once you have drained your beans, put them in a cuisinart to puree.  Remove from the machine, and mash any large remaining pieces with the back of a spatula.2.  Heat a medium sautee pan, sprayed with Pam, and add your onions.  Sautee them until they begin to brown and add your garlic and cumin.3.  At the same time, toast 3-4 strips of Smart Bacon at 450 degrees for 5 minutes, turning over once half way through.  They burn quickly so keep an eye on the time!4.  Add the beans to the onions, and then put the entire mixture back in the cuisinart to well blend the onions.  If you prefer chunkier pieces of onion, skip that piece.5.  Cut or crumble the Smart Bacon and mix it into the beans.6.  Salt the mixture to your preferred taste.
Now you can use this for nachos, in tacos, or the way I did ~ over a bed of romaine with salsa and fresh avocado slices.  You don't even need dressing!  Ole!

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